Cathay Pacific is busy upgrading its inflight meals, starting in first class with both Cathay and regional offshoot Dragonair, as the airline moves to adopt what it calls "a more contemporary Asian culinary theme for an experience that’s more aligned with fine dining."
From May, travellers in Cathay Pacific's first class cabin will enjoy what the airline describes as "a bespoke caviar and Krug service that comes with a glass caviar soccel and a mother of pearl spoon."
Dragonair flights to Beijing and Shanghai are now serving an afternoon tea set in first class, with sweet and savoury snacks on a two- tiered cake stand.
There are also new dishes for first, business and economy class created in collaboration with top Hong Kong restaurants.
From Hugo’s, a fine-dining restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, comes a selection including peppered beef tenderloin, seasonal vegetables and pepper sauce for first and business class passengers flying from Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai.
Another new menu created in partnership with Xin Dau Ji serves up "classic home-style Cantonese dishes" such as deep-fried cod with sweet corn sauce.
Aaron Claxton, Cathay Pacific's manager of catering services, says this is just a taste of what's to come.
“For the past six months, we’ve been closely reviewing our current catering proposition, comparing this to the competition, and devising 'quick win' deliverables,” Claxton says.
The menu revamp focuses on the concept of “inspired dining”, which affects everything about eating on board, including food, equipment and service delivery by cabin crew.
“Everything we put on board will have to tick the key boxes of our programme rationale: consistency, quality, fresh taste, creativity and of course visually appealing,” he explains.
Claxford tips more collaborations with "premium brands" along with "more storytelling featured in the text of menu cards", which descriptions of how the ingredients were selected from sustainable sources.
But it's not all about five-star dining. Cathay Pacific says that "comfort foods will be featured on menus, as well as a signature dish that passengers can rely on every time they step on board a Cathay Pacific flight."
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